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Keeneland Preview & FREE Picks | Franklin Stakes 2023: Can Caravel Rebound In Title Defense?
Caravel winning the 2022 Franklin (Matt Wooley/Equisport Photos for Eclipse Sportswire)

Keeneland Preview & FREE Picks | Franklin Stakes 2023: Can Caravel Rebound In Title Defense?

Dr. Miranda previews the 2023 Franklin Stakes (G2) from Keeneland, then gives her top picks & long shots.

Can defending race winner Caravel rebound from her 4th-place Troy Stakes (G3) effort while returning to a track where she’s currently perfect in 3 starts? Tell us YOUR thoughts in the Comments section!

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The press release:

Qatar Racing, Marc Detampel and Madaket Stables’ Caravel will attempt to become the second runner to win the $350,000 Franklin (G2) in consecutive years when she headlines a field of nine fillies and mares for next Sunday’s 27th running of the 5½-furlong turf sprint.

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Trained by Brad Cox, Caravel is perfect in three Keeneland starts with the initial victory coming in last year’s Franklin.

Following that triumph, she beat the boys in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) and opened her 2023 campaign with a win over males in the Shakertown (G2).

Regular rider Tyler Gaffalione has the mount and will break from post 1.

The only other runner to win the Franklin in back-to-back years is Ayrial Delight in 1998 and 1999.

Leading the opposition to Caravel is Stonestreet Stables’ Twilight Gleaming (IRE), a five-time stakes winner that includes a victory in the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2) at Del Mar.

Trained by Wesley Ward, Twilight Gleaming will be ridden by John Velazquez and break from post 4.

The field for the Franklin, with riders and weights from the rail out:

  1. Caravel (Gaffalione, 124 pounds)
  2. Wakanaka (IRE) (Joel Rosario, 120)
  3. Train toArtemus (Gerardo Corrales, 120)
  4. Twilight Gleaming (IRE) (Velazquez, 120)
  5. Bay Storm (Florent Geroux, 124)
  6. Linguistic (Alex Achard, 120)
  7. Star Guest(GB) (Luis Saez, 118)
  8. Tony Ann (Flavien Prat, 120)
  9. B G Warrior (Joseph Ramos, 118)

Caravel and her dam, Zeezee Zoomzoom, in foal to Justify, are cataloged to Book 1 of the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale on Nov. 8